Didn’t DNF Strides
Saturday morning I woke up at the near buttcrack of dawn in a fabulous hotel in LA to run one of my favoritest favorite races – the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon. It was a part of the Hollywood Rock Star Challenge which I did last year, but this year, my legs and life schedule could only make the half marathon happen.
Since it was a trail race, I was sure to sneak out some TP from the hotel in case of a trail emergency….
As a sign of hyper-organization I got dropped off at the start line about 40 minutes before the race started with a bag of random crap. #waytoplanahead
Within 5 minutes I had my race packet and I sat there wondering if this would be my first DNF. My body was playing some funny games with me from my head to my legs.
I love trail races because the atmosphere is so laid back. I went to go check my bag in at the “bag check” (we will use that term loosely as it’s a trail race) and found the line backed up. I quickly grabbed the duct tape to help the resident checker help the process and finished with about 45 seconds to jump into the starting line/corral which was approximately 43 seconds more than I needed.
I’ll recap my personal experience with the 13.1 miles in the near future. But the highlights of the race itself:
-The People. You just can’t beat the people at these smaller (there were 400 or so) races. To see smiling faces from last year, serious competitors, and “I’m just going to be happy to walk it in 5 hours!” alike happily lined up at the start was so much fun.
-The Clover. The course is mildly clover shaped meaning you do a lot of out and backs and can see plenty of people along the way. It’s great to see the people killing it ahead of you and encourage those behind you.
-The Course. Yes, it’s really hard. But the best news is it’s really hard. Maybe there’s something wrong in my head, but as much as I hate it…I have loved finishing both times because I knew it was not a walk in the park kind of course.
-The Swag. Yes it’s a trail race, but that doesn’t mean the swag is granola and recycled hemp t-shirts. Keira (the race director) works with Patagonia and they must have collaborated to put the shirts together. I received what I believe has to be the NICEST race shirt I’ve ever had. Vanilla even asked me to wear it on our coffee date the next morning. A fab water bottle, a bag, the cutest ceramic “medal” and a few snacks rounded out this fabulous swag bag.
-The Grub. Before the race, a spread of coffee, OJ, pastries, bagels, etc. was available for runners and after….oh deliciousness. A spread of sandwiches, kale salad, bananas, oranges, soda, OJ, water, and lots and lots of cookies awaited. I could hardly contain myself. This doesn’t even begin to describe the on-course supplies…lots of water/electrolytes and tons of food. I snagged some ABC cookies from TJ’s and a banana at one of the tables – but there were chips, gel packs, candy, fruit and anything else you might want for fuel.
The race in itself, was an….err….well….uhhhh….experience for me…but the logistics were awesome. Thanks to Keira for giving me a bib to participate. While I didn’t have the chance to get another Top 5 mug, I did have a blast running the race and was once again impressed by the logistics and fabulous people involved with the race.
To trail or not to trail? What is your preference?
What’s your favorite post-race food?